In response to two recent shootings on Sandpiper Drive, the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) has installed video surveillance equipment along the street.
Const. Ian MacDonald said police hope that the move serves as a “suppression technique” in curbing further incidents.
The first shooting on the street took place Aug. 6, when a 2013 Volkswagen in the driveway of a home in the 30500 block of Sandpiper was struck with several bullets, but no one was injured.
The second incident was on Monday night (Aug. 17) in the 30700 block. Residents reported hearing five or six gunshots, and police found shell casings on the road.
They soon discovered that a 23-year-old man had shown up at the hospital with a gunshot wound to his leg.
Police have said they believe the incidents are connected to the ongoing “Townline Hill conflict” involving two groups of South Asian men in west Abbotsford.
MacDonald said police hope the cameras will deter not only violent activity in the neighbourhood but other types of incidents – such as vandalism and mischief – that have occurred.
“We want them to know we’re watching them,” he said.
He said police don’t expect the video surveillance equipment to solve all the problems going on in the area, but it is among the tactics being used, which also include an increased patrol presence.
MacDonald said police are relying on residents to report suspicious activity as it occurs and are requesting that homeowners with security cameras ensure that the systems are in working order.
“Video evidence has been an integral component of many of our investigations,” he said.
The APD has used video surveillance a few times in the past, including last August, just a few months after the Townline Hill conflict began.
At that time, two cameras were installed on two different streets in west Abbotsford as tensions began to rise between the two groups. There had been no shootings at that time, but there had been thousands of dollars in property damage.
MacDonald said the number of incident reports then dropped.
Police also used video surveillance cameras in 2008, when they were installed on the street where the notorious Bacon brothers were living with their family.
The Bacons, members of the Red Scorpions gang, were embroiled in a violent turf war with the UN Gang at the time, and the brothers were the target of a murder plot. Two of the Bacons – Jarrod and Jamie – are currently in jail and the third, Jonathan, was killed in a targeted shooting in Kelowna in August 2011.
Their family no longer lives in Abbotsford.
Another set of cameras was installed in October 2012 in the 2500 block of Bradner Road in a neighbourhood that had been the site of of two drive-by shootings in less than two years.
The APD is still looking for details related to the two shootings on Sandpiper Drive. Anyone with information is asked to contact the APD at 604-859-5225, text abbypd (222973) or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.